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University of Connecticut University Libraries

Collection Development and Access Plan:
Philosophy

Prepared by Richard Bleiler, DATE: 2/25/2004
DRAFT for review by the Philosophy Department

Purpose:

The purpose of this Collection Development and Access Plan is threefold. First, it is a tool for the Library to become better informed of the information and data needs of the Philosophy Department. Next, it will outline how existing local collections, networked electronic services, and document delivery services are being utilized to meet the bibliographic needs of the Philosophy Department. Last, it is hoped that this plan will provide the Philosophy faculty and the library staff a base for dialog concerning future information needs and areas for cooperation. This plan follows the broad guidelines established in Ownership and Access in a Global Information Market: A Framework for the University of Connecticut Libraries, issued by the Chancellor's Library Advisory Committee in March 1999 and the FY 2003 update, Library Collecting for a Digital Age: An FY 2003 Update to Ownership and Access in a Global Information Market.

Contents:

  1. Characteristics of the Community
  2. Collections Budget Expenditure Patterns
  3. Current Patterns of Information Service
  4. Emerging Choices

I. Characteristics of the Community

  • Degrees and concentrations offered.
    B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. offered. Students can study philosophy from its oldest forms and ideas to the works and analyses currently produced. The University of Connecticut, Stamford, and the University of Connecticut, Hartford, campuses also offer basic undergraduate philosophy courses; but only the Storrs campus regularly offers instruction at anything beyond the basic courses, and only the Storrs campus offers graduate instruction. The graduate program is centered at Storrs, and all students rely upon physical access to the Babbidge Library for their course work as well as Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan services to complete their dissertations. Distance education is not yet a significant factor in the activities of the Department of Philosophy.
  • Number of faculty and distribution across the system
    19 faculty, 4 of whom are emeritus or emerita, in Spring 2004 (Departmental Website 2/11/2004). Distribution of active faculty: 1 Stamford; 1 Hartford; 13 Storrs (Departmental Website, 2/11/2004).
  • Numbers of undergraduate majors and graduate students by degree sought
    In 2004: 36 undergraduate and 29 graduate students (Departmental Website, 2/11/2004 and OIR data.) Many areas of philosophy are routinely taught. The current faculty are professionally very active and have expertise and recent publications on the subjects of: Ancient philosophy, Asian philosophy, Cognitive science, Deconstruction, Early modern philosophy, Ethics and applied ethics, Feminist theory, Foundations of physics, Game theory, History and philosophy of religion, Mental causation, Metaphysics, Moral philosophy, Normative theory, Philosophical social theory, Philosophy of language, Philosophy of law, Philosophy of logic and mathematics, Philosophy of mind, Philosophy of psychology, Philosophy of science, Philosophy of social science, Social and political philosophy, The self, Wars and contemporary politics.

In addition, there are interests in specific philosophers including Derrida, Doestoevsky, Kierkegaard, Leibniz, Mill, Plato, and Wittgenstein.

II. Collections Budget Expenditure Patterns

Allocated funds for monographs and journals

Monographs: $8,500
Serials: $14,500.00

Networked Services: Electronic indexing, abstracting, and full-text services purchased by the Library’s Networked Services Team budget are not reflected in the above figures, although these in some cases significantly support research in Philosophy. They include in alphabetical order: Early English Books, Eighteenth Century Collections Online, InfoTrac, JSTOR, Lexis/Nexis, Linguistics and Language Behavior Abstracts, MathSciNet, Philosopher’s Index, Project Muse, PsycInfo, Web of Science, and WilsonWeb.

III. Current Patterns of Information Service

  1. Characteristics of the Literature

    Much as in other fields of humanistic inquiry and scholarship, philosophers depend upon monographs of primary and secondary literature. In addition, they require a steadily increasing core of journals to support and disseminate their endeavors. The reasons for this are given below.

    Unlike the materials in many other fields of study, philosophical works do not lose their value over time, though new texts may be established, and although the ideas are constantly being re-appraised and re-evaluated, philosophy "classics" are constantly being reprinted in various forms. The traditional concept of the limited canon of literature - a small body of authors whose works are known and accepted without question or debate as the best, as essential, as a shared resource to which all scholars and critics can make reference and be understood – remains, though it has been redefined and expanded, and scholarship on these authors and their works has not ceased and has, if anything, increased. Philosophers and movements that were once ignored or considered marginal to the canon are constantly being re-appraised, and hitherto marginalized movements and philosophers are now being studied not only for their perceived importance but also as pioneers.

    A significant percentage of secondary philosophical literatures lose their value over time, though works considered classics are constantly being reprinted. It must be stressed that although some critics and some philosophical schools have lost their luster and their academic cachet, their adherents do not simply vanish from sight when their leaders die or when the winds of study change direction. Academics and their enthusiasms can be long-lived.

    As times change and new ideas emerge, new philosophical schools have erupted to compete with and occasionally supersede and replace the older schools. The last few generations have seen the rise to prominence of such subjects as cognitive science, feminist philosophy, the philosophy of science, symbolic logic, as well as medical ethics. Perhaps because of the increasingly limited opportunities for tenure-track employment, the last decade has also seen what appears to be unparalleled politicization and polarization of the field, with various factions feuding with each other. Nor have these factions feuded in silence: they have published monographs and established journals to support their viewpoints.

    It is axiomatic that the humanities trail other areas in making resources electronically available. Compared to other disciplines, the humanities have relatively few electronic journals, and but a small fraction of these are refereed. Nevertheless, the contents of a significant number of philosophical journals are electronically available. This is in large part because philosophy is an unspecific term, encompassing a variety of highly eclectic and almost completely unrelated subjects. Scholars of logic and mathematics may reasonably publish in philosophy journals devoted to those subjects as well as in mathematical and computer journals. Nor would it be unreasonable to see publications by philosophers appearing in journals in history, anthropology, classics, theology, and the social sciences as well as in philosophy journals. Dr. Ruth Millikan has, for example, published in journals as diverse as Monist and Behavioral and Brain Sciences: the former is an international journal of philosophical inquiry; the latter, a journal presenting work in psychology, neurosciences, behavioral biology, and cognitive science.

    Library literature discusses the average cost of philosophy periodicals in conjunction with the average cost of religious periodicals, and the periodical costs of the two fields cannot be separated or disengaged. The data below must thus be understood to represent the combined periodical costs of two occasionally disparate fields of endeavor rather than the costs of the periodicals in one field. In 2001, the last year for which data were available in American Libraries:

  2. Philosophy and religion periodicals cost $62.43 on the average. Philosophy and religion are thus 20th most expensive field of study by cost of their periodicals.
  3. Although they are on the average marginally more expensive, philosophy and religion periodicals do not cost significantly more than periodicals for literature and language ($60.03) and the fine and applied arts ($59.17). Philosophy and religion periodicals cost less on the average than periodicals in history ($67.06), law ($95.40), journalism and communications ($122.44), education ($135.72), and sociology and anthropology ($197.24).
  4. In 1998-1999, the subscription costs of philosophy and religion periodicals increased 5.2% on the average. In 1999-2000, these costs increased 7.6% on the average. In 2000 – 2001, these costs increased 6.6% on the average. This is less than the average price increase for all periodicals (including Russian translations) of 9.8% (in 1998-1999), 9.2% (in 1999-2000), and 8.6% (in 2000 – 2001).
  5. Collection Development
    1. Areas of Focus

      The website of the Department of Philosophy states “we are a small program where students get much individual attention. We have a very good graduate placement record; our recent Ph.D.'s have generally found tenure-track positions in four-year colleges. We do a considerable amount of research, of which the best-known focuses on naturalized philosophy of mind and on social and moral philosophy.” In addition, the website states “we are rated in the latest Philosophical Gourmet in the very top group, along with just five other programs. In philosophy of mind and cognitive science, we are rated in the same group as M.I.T., Princeton, Brown, and Australian National University; in philosophy of mind and language, in the same group as Michigan, Arizona, North Carolina, Oxford, and Cambridge; in philosophy of biology, in the same group as Stanford, Indiana, and Edinburgh; in Chinese Philosophy, in the same group as Duke and Hawaii.” (2/17/2004)

      In 2004 the Department of Philosophy’s overall ranking in the latest Philosophical Gourmet is 41 out of 50 (www.philosophicalgourmet.com). The Department of Philosophy believes this to be too low, and a ratings system that states that the philosophy programs at New York University and Rutgers University are superior to the programs offered by Harvard, Stanford, and Columbia Universities may indeed be worthy of challenge.

      For details on specific faculty research interests see section: I. Characteristics of the Community.

    2. Acquisition Strategies
      1. Monographs

        The University of Connecticut Libraries uses the approval plan services of Yankee Book Peddler (YBP) to acquire the majority of its new monographs. Books are received based on a profile that is limited in coverage to the Department of Philosophy. Notification slips are provided for items that fall outside the profile but which may be of interest; some titles are selected and ordered from these slips. A full list of the publishers represented through the YBP approval plan is available at http://www.ybp.com/publisherlists.htm

        Publishers that do not to discount to Yankee or that produce less than five titles a year are not covered in the YBP approval plan, and catalogs from these publishers and reviews from various sources are consulted for other relevant materials. Specific suggestions from library users, including students and faculty, are always given full consideration.

        Textbooks, popular reading, guide books, examinations, laboratory manuals, software and hardware manuals are generally not collected. Dissertations must be specifically requested for purchased.

      2. Journals

        New journal subscriptions in Philosophy are generally ordered pursuant to a student or faculty request. The University of Connecticut Libraries require special justification, or evidence of consistent demand from our document delivery statistics, to consider subscribing to titles from for-profit publishers known for rapidly increasing the subscription costs of their publications. Also, addition of new titles will likely require trade-offs (i.e., cancellations) of currently held titles. The acquisition of networked electronic versions of journals is preferable to paper journals.

      3. Other Media

        Materials in nonprint format - videos, CD-ROMs, microformats, etc. - tend to be acquired in a variety of ways.

        CD-ROMs frequently accompany monographic purchases and are purchased as a matter of course. Unless they contain unique data and belong in the Reference Department (i.e., The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy on CD ROM), most CD-ROMs circulate. Their shelf life is unknown.

        Videos and DVDs have not hitherto been requested by the Department of Philosophy, but they are in general ordered pursuant to requests from students or faculty. The shelf life of both is unknown, but with the advent and increasing accessibility of DVD technology, the life of the video may be considered to be increasingly limited.

        Microformat materials are acquired pursuant to requests from students or faculty and then only when paper resources are prohibitively expensive or do not exist. Additionally, with constant increases in electronic accessibility, these materials may languish while the electronic resources are being used.

  6. Access Development

    In order to assist Department of Philosophy researchers to locate the research materials they need, the Library will use a combination of local collections, licensed electronic products, subject and program-based web links, current awareness services, and document delivery and interlibrary loan.

    1. Relevant Indexes, Abstracts, Library Catalogs and Bibliographic Utilities

      The current compliment of general electronic indexing, abstracting, full-text services, and current awareness services as well as those specific to Philosophy (see section Current Library Expenditures, Networked Services) provided by the Library seems sufficient to meet the above stated objective.

      The major index in the field of philosophy is the Philosopher’s Index. Because philosophy can be interdisciplinary, philosophers occasionally need to search such resources as the MLA International Bibliography, America: History and Life / Historical Abstracts, ERIC, MathSciNet, PsycInfo, and Sociological Abstracts. Research might also be done using Dissertation Abstracts, InfoTrac; JSTOR; Project MUSE, the Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy on CD ROM, and WilsonWeb. Some of these have no paper counterparts; others are exact facsimiles of paper publications. All are electronically accessible and are accessible via hyperlinks from various webpages on the University of Connecticut Libraries’ servers; all are restricted to the University of Connecticut domain. VPN accounts provide access to these and other databases for faculty and students who are using Internet service providers other than the University of Connecticut’s Computer Center. These sources taken collectively and used properly are adequate in providing access to the literature of the discipline. These sources are also essential for providing access to materials and literatures that cannot be browsed locally but can be obtained through Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan services.

      Print indexes to a handful of the above products are still being produced but are no longer purchased. They are not missed.

    2. Electronic Journals, Books and Data

      User enthusiasm and economic incentives have caused the library to embrace electronic only access to commercial as well as non-profit journal packages. With the subscription year that begins in January 2004, if a cost savings is available, the libraries are generally converting journal subscriptions that currently bring us both print and electronic copies to electronic-only provision.

      We are making this change on a publisher-by-publisher basis. Many of our electronic journals do not come directly by license from the publisher, but instead through aggregator products such as Lexis-Nexis Academic, Dow-Jones, InfoTrac and Wilson Web. The arrangements between aggregators and publishers are constantly in flux. Only when titles are available through multiple aggregators, in a complete and reasonably current version will the cancellation of print be considered.

      We have resisted going electronic-only up to now because of concerns about long-term, archival access. Commercial publishers cannot be relied upon to archive their content once the prospect of additional sales approaches nil. Although a solution is far from in place, we believe that technologies now under examination, with funding from the National Science Foundation among others, will yield solutions whereby the largest research libraries will undertake the distributed archiving of digital content in all our interest. We expect that even the largest commercial publishers will, ultimately, cooperate with such an arrangement.

      One of the primary goals in the immediate future will be to identify the journals for which we have a subscription but not electronic access, and attempt to add said access. Often the stumbling block for doing so is the license agreement. Additionally, many of the society journals are only now being made available electronically. Often, online access to these titles is free with a print subscription. Retaining access to the already respectable menu of online journals provided by the Library is an ongoing library goal although this effort is becoming increasingly difficult. Because of unsustainable inflation of scholarly journals, electronic only access may be increasingly viewed as a viable option. The question of permanent access to reliable archives of this material is not yet resolved, making such a switch a risky venture.

      Furthermore, electronic journals can be hot linked to web based indexes like Web of Science, the Philosopher’s Index, and the electronic resources listed above. Additionally, the Library’s electronic journal locator, eCompass, facilitates the identification of specific e-journal titles "owned" by the Library (i.e., accessible via the University internet domain, ".uconn.edu".)

    3. Other Internet-based resources

      As in other areas of academic study, there are a number of ambitious projects that are attempting to make significant primary sources available via the WWW. The Library Liaison to the Department of Philosophy thus maintains a web page that organizes and promotes a wide range of electronic resources for philosophy, including locally licensed indexing/abstracting services and full-text resources. This page is accessible at /research/bysubject/phil.htm.

      Fulltext access to contemporary primary works has hitherto been limited by copyright restrictions. Recent changes in publishers’ contracts and the advent of such commercial resources as NetLibrary.com and Safari are making more primary works electronically accessible.

    4. Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan

      The Document Delivery / Interlibrary Loan (DD/ILL) services are essential to the Department of Philosophy. The data provided by DD/ILL are actively considered in relation to journal purchase decisions and collection budget planning.

      In 2002 - 2003, the Department of Philosophy accounted for 129 DD/ILL requests for journal articles. Forty-six of these requests were made by faculty; 83 of these requests were made by graduate students. During the same time, the Department of Philosophy borrowed 58 monographs via DD/ILL. Twenty two of these were borrowed by faculty; 36 were borrowed by graduate students. (Data from: http://www.lib.uconn.edu/services/ill/SB/Reports/Reports.html.)

      In 2002 - 2003 , DD/ILL borrowed 39,693 items. The Department of Philosophy’s demands upon the University of Connecticut Libraries’ DD/ILL services may thus be seen as negligible.

      Examination of the historical data shows that in 2001 – 2002, the Department of Philosophy accounted for 141 DD/ILL requests for journal articles, whereas in 2000 – 2001 there were but 13 requests, and in 1999 – 2000 there were 77 requests. Despite the questions that these numbers raise, it is not unreasonable to believe that a reasonable percentage of the Department of Philosophy’s demands are being satisfied in part through the utilization of the full-text electronic journals and from materials already in their possession.


IV. Emerging Choices

Journals
Because journals are critical for the Department of Philosophy’s research and teaching, the clearest challenge in collection development for the Department of Philosophy is managing the transition to electronic journals. There are major questions and concerns raised by this transition and no ready answers. As the Library purchases different packages and products, both library staff and Department of Philosophy faculty and students must understand that we are experimenting in the acquisition of journals in this new medium and that permanent electronic access cannot be guaranteed for everything we initially provide. All journal users are encouraged to be active participants in the promotion and evaluation of electronic journals within their subject areas.

The long-term availability of the key electronic indexes appears stable; in brief, the prospects of the Philosopher’s Index and the electronic indexes named above are good. It would nevertheless not be surprising if a potential conflict arose from the continued acquisition of such full-text resources as JSTOR and ,i>Project Muse, and from the journals provided by the science and the social science aggregators. These resources offer superior indexing and provide better access to their contents than can the Philosopher’s Index. An academic library faced with having to pay for a resource that indexes many things inadequately and offers full-text only through the intermediary of another program (i.e., Silverlinker or Linkfinder Plus) or that offers superb indexing to a significant number of full-text resources, may opt for the latter.

Despite the resources offered by JSTOR, Project Muse, and the aggregators, relatively few relevant humanities journals are currently fully electronically accessible, but it is nevertheless expected that within the next ten years many of the hitherto paper journal subscriptions will become electronic. The University of Connecticut Libraries are moving increasingly towards electronic only access, and whether or not print journals are traded for electronic journals will depend on such factors as the cost and the continuing relevance of the journal to the Department of Philosophy. As in other areas of academic study, concern about permanency and archival access may outweigh the virtues of distributed access. The need for reliable long-term access to journal literature remains great.

Non-print media
Data cannot be provided, and the following observations are anecdotal. Philosophy as a whole does not appear to be demonstrating an increasing usage and reliance on non-print media -- audio, video, electronic books - to initiate and further research or to disseminate it. Publications of the Department of Philosophy appear in traditional venues. Nevertheless, these venues now include a non-print component; the journals in which they publish often include an electronic version of the print edition. Non-print media are being developed and used, but there has been no abandoning of traditional paper resources, nor has there been anything approaching a wholesale abandonment of the traditional indexes used for learning of their availability and for accessing their contents.

The continued acquisition of major digital collections, particularly the Early English Books Online and the Eighteenth-Century Collections Online may lead to the Department of Philosophy adding and offering additional coursework in the history of philosophy. Furthermore, individual companies – notable the Past Masters – are offering on CD-ROM the collected works of various historical philosophers. Investigation of the Past Masters showed that their costs were based on unacceptable pricing and networking models, but if the Department of Philosophy adds new faculty, products such as these may need to be acquired.

The future of collecting to support the Philosophy Department in a changing information economy
Both continuing inflation in the unit cost of print and electronic publications, and expanding demand for new products and services are anticipated. The Libraries do not expect the University to solve this problem by increasing the Libraries' share of limited University resources. The Libraries hope for a continuation of the current level of support, but cannot regard it as guaranteed. Increasingly though, measures of user behavior: circulation by classification and patron affiliation; database use; and ILL/document delivery activity will play a role in budget decision-making.

The significant evolution in collection development and access patterns requires enhanced communication between library staff and the faculty and students they serve. Ongoing dialogue will help ensure that the best choices are being made and that users are knowledgeable about emerging kinds of library resources in terms of access and intelligent use and the risks involved in some of these choices. The Library Liaison Program will continue to be the primary vehicle for this kind of contact.

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